As Sonoma Valley and the broader county face the prospect of a further prolonged and important hearth time, a Bay Region corporation is giving a controversial company to personal people today, wineries and other organizations: Leasing or shopping for a hearth truck.
Pacific Freeway Rentals, a Hayward company, is leasing and marketing Sort 6 fireplace trucks – cars close to the measurement of a little pickup truck with a pump on the back ‒ with a 300-gallon tank capability, hose reel and foam process. The vehicles lease for close to $300 a working day and about $3,500 a month, and expense about $175,000 to $300,000 to acquire.
In addition, clients can choose for onsite schooling from a retired Cal Fireplace battalion main for an further cost.
While the rental corporation has been close to for 19 many years, Pacific Highway Rentals only started out leasing fireplace vans lately. The support debuted at the Sonoma Raceway June 5 and 6 at the raceway’s once-a-year NASCAR celebration. The raceway rented two fire vans from Pacific Freeway Rentals in addition to the 4 fire vehicles that are generally all set to go at the keep track of.
The raceway’s crew dealt with the gear without the need of extra education, stated Gail Cunningham, the raceway’s functions manager. “Our crews have quite a few many years of expertise. The sort of fire that would spring up at a observe is quite specialized,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham mentioned her crew has Firefighter 1 certification and gets biannual instruction. Firefighter 1 certification qualifies people today to complete at the entry degree in a volunteer or paid out hearth department as firefighters in California.
No fires broke out through the function, Cunningham mentioned. She stated she would lease fire vehicles from the organization again.
Firefighting gurus expressed fears about the provider.
“We understand peoples’ appropriate to defend their residence, but we do not condone them combating fires because they haven’t experienced the needed teaching and the correct machines necessary to combat wildland fires,” said Lynnette Spherical, an information officer for Cal Fireplace.
Spencer Andreis, a battalion chief with Sonoma Valley Hearth, stated, “They (people leasing the vans) are possibly operating in harm’s way and really don’t have experience with fireplace behavior.
“They don’t have the knowledge or specialized teaching to know wherever they should really be inserting their apparatus, and if and when they must probably disengage from a fireplace struggle,” the battalion chief stated.
Rather than trying to manage a fire on their own, property proprietors should adhere to evacuation warnings and orders so firefighters can safely and securely do their employment, the battalion main said.
“When people today consider to consider impartial motion on their homes, it usually takes away from our means to suppress the fire. Our concentrate becomes life protection and we have to deviate from hearth suppression,” Andreis reported.
Sonoma County Fireplace District Main Mark Heine, a board member of the California Fireplace Chiefs Association, reported, “There are a handful of of these (fireplace truck rental) providers that are commencing to pop up in this condition and other states. It’s an particularly unsafe endeavor.”
“Even if (the shoppers) have some coaching, these fires all around in this article are burning at an depth I haven’t viewed in 40 years. To equip these people with a negligible firefighting software and minimum coaching and request them to take a stand to fight these wildfires is a setup for disaster,” Heine said.
“It’s a undesirable circumstance all about. They (rental consumers) are not on our radio channels they are not trained with us they are not portion of the education workforce.
“It’s a set up. Someone is likely to get injured or killed,” Heine stated.
In response, Paul Indelicato, owner of Pacific Freeway Rentals, claimed, “I fully agree with the firefighters you talked to. Men and women shouldn’t make a stand in opposition to a wildfire.
“That’s not the intention. The intention is small spot fires that might begin miles from the principal fireplace,” Indelicato reported.
“This is if the wind blows embers from a fireplace 5 or six miles away on your assets and starts off a smaller hearth. This is a great instrument to set that out. Your 1st call really should be to the fire section to say this is what is taking place,” the small business proprietor stated.
“A couple wineries I’ve talked to claimed when the fires blew via very last yr in 2020 they had been more or a lot less on their own for the to start with 12 several hours due to the fact all obtainable firefighters were at the major blaze,” the rental agency owner claimed.
“They experienced location fires starting off on their home for a 7 days or two. They ended up out with buckets of drinking water or whatever they could come across, trying to extinguish flames by them selves with whatsoever they could,” he reported.
Indelicato has organized with Scott Watson of Watson Fire Training & Vegetation Management, a retired Cal Fire battalion main, to present instruction if requested. So significantly, Watson explained, he has not properly trained any Pacific Highway Rental buyers.
“I would never ever declare that I’m schooling firefighters to go out and fight forest fires. That is the furthest from my intent,” claimed Watson, who declined to give the price tag of the instruction. He explained the teaching is 40 hours, and typically he would conduct the instruction himself.
“I’m coaching folks to get drinking water out of the response auto on their home and secure their residence,” Watson reported.
Some regions protected by the instruction would be when it is correct to keep and when to leave – entrapment avoidance – and how to stick to the expectations of the incident commander and the operations portion chiefs, Watson mentioned.
“A fireplace truck is a resource just like a fireplace extinguisher and folks should be trained how to effectively use hearth extinguishers,” Watson reported.
“I agree with the main 100 %. We test to give them the energy of awareness so they can use this software correctly and know when to keep and when to go away,” Watson explained